Apart from the regular investigation authorities, such as the police, the Government has set up a special National Investigation Agency to investigate and prosecute offences related to explosive substances, atomic energy, nuclear weapons, unlawful activities, terrorist activities, hijacking, etc.
Powers of National Investigation Agency Officers
NIA officers have the power to investigate these offences and arrest people involved in such offences. NIA officers have all the powers, duties, privileges and liabilities of police officers while conducting an investigation. The administration of the NIA lies with its Director-General, who enjoys the same powers as a Director-General of Police.
While investigating any offence under the Act, the NIA can request a State government to associate itself with the investigation. The NIA can also take the approval of the Central government to transfer a case to a State government for investigation and trial. For doing this, the NIA will take into account the seriousness of the offence and other relevant factors.
Special Courts for NIA
Further, the Central government can choose Session Courts in different States to function as Special Courts for the trial of NIA offences. These Special Courts are chosen in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the respective State. Every offence investigated by the NIA is tried by the Special Court which has authority in the local area where the offence was committed.1